Developing a new formulation at the R&D stage can require multiple iterations to arrive at the optimal quality, functionality, cost or a combination of these and other factors. Typically, mixing at this scale is relatively easy to accomplish. Blade size and agitator power are easily oversized in a bench-top setting and any heat transfer or chemical reaction that accompanies the mixing step is completed rather quickly.
When working with rare or expensive raw materials, it pays to prepare the smallest batch size possible that will still produce enough samples for testing and analysis. At the same time, the laboratory mixer must be scalable so that results can be replicated at larger volumes in a straightforward manner. While many styles of R&D mixers are available, such as magnetic stirrers and kitchen-type single planetary mixers, many of these devices are not scalable equipment and will require extra time and resources for experimentation once the product graduates to pilot or production scale.